Addressing dysfunction in Congress.
U.S. House members Darin LaHood of Dunlap and Dan Lipinski have introduced legislation to reform Congress.
Thirty-seven other members of Congress have already given their support to the measure.
If passed by both the House and Senate, the legislation would automatically create a Joint Committee of Congress.
“This establishes internally a committee that organizes Congress. And, we have the ability to do this,” LaHood said.
LaHood tells WMBD’s Greg and Dan that the Joint Committee would be made up of 28 members of the House and Senate, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.
LaHood says the Joint Committee would work to overhaul congressional rules and procedures.
“So, this sets in place a mechanism, a forum, a committee, that is bipartisan, bicameral, in the House and Senate, to have ideas brought forth,” LaHood said.
LaHood said the dysfunction in Congress stretches back decades, regardless of which party was in the majority. He says the last time all individual appropriation bills were passed separately and on time was 20 years ago.
LaHood says the Joint Committee would work to empower legislators to take ownership of the legislative process, debate issues, introduce amendments and get laws enacted.
The Joint Committee’s recommendations would be forwarded to the full House and Senate for approval.
“There is no doubt the a few reforms may come with the next Congress,” Lipinski said, “but there is a need right now to make fundamental changes in congressional procedures, legislative process, and political behavior.”
“Congress should also strive to improve relationships among members of the House and Senate, between the House and Senate, and between Congress and the Executive Branch,” Lipinski said. “Hopefully, this resolution is a first step to creating an environment in which governance is not only possible, but preferable to gridlock and dysfunction.”